What is it?
The duty to accommodate stems from the BC Human Rights Code (section 8). The Code prohibits service providers from denying services and discriminating in the provision of services customarily available to the public, on the basis of a person’s personal characteristics.
Through Policy 4501, BCIT adheres to its legal obligation to incorporate the concept of equality into educational standards and to provide for individual accommodation for students who meet the eligibility criteria. BCIT is responsible for taking all steps short of undue hardship to the institution as a whole to eliminate discrimination related to human rights grounds.
Why does it exist?
To ensure that students with disabilities are not discriminated against and have equal opportunity to access post-secondary education.
Who at BCIT is responsible for the duty to accommodate?
By law, everyone in the BCIT community is responsible for adhering to the duty to accommodate. This includes Associate Deans, students, Instructors, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists, Program Heads, Unions, Clinical/Co-Op Supervisors, and Chief Instructors.
How does it work at BCIT?
Students who request academic accommodations are required to meet with Accessibility Services to review eligibility and to determine a reasonable accommodation plan. Accessibility Services works with faculty, Instructors, and staff to ensure the accommodations are implemented without compromising the essential requirements of the course.
If a student believes their human rights have been violated, they are entitled to file a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal against the institution and/or individual employee (e.g., Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, Instructor, Manager, etc.).
The BC Human Rights Tribunal will then determine the appropriate steps to resolve the issue, which can include a mediation process or formal hearing.
If a complainant wins their case at a hearing, the Tribunal will order a remedy. One of the remedies for discrimination is a payment to make up for the harm to the complainant. It is not meant to punish the respondent.
Do you need assistance?
Faculty, Instructors, and staff are always encouraged to contact Accessibility Services at any time if they have questions, comments, or feedback regarding the duty to accommodate or the accommodation process.